If your kid loves cycling, a good helmet is an absolute essential. By investing in one of the best bike helmets for kids, you can save your child’s life. Because children are a little more naive than adults, it’s especially important that they keep their heads protected. According to statistics from the US Department of Transportation, only 17% of all bicycle fatalities involved people wearing helmets.
It’s therefore clear that a good helmet is the only way to ensure proper protection. Without a helmet, your child simply isn’t safe on the saddle of their bike. But in order to stay safe, it’s not enough to have any old helmet. Wearing a good helmet with a good reputation is very important. In this article, we’ve given you the best bike helmets for kids. We’ll help you to keep your kids safe – and help you to have peace of mind.
- How to Choose the Perfect Bike Helmet for Your Child
- Top 10 Best Bike Helmets for Kids 2021
- 1. Best Overall Bike Helmet for Kids: Giro Scamp
- 2. Best Bike Helmet for Older Kids: Giro Tremor MIPS
- 3. Best Budget Bike Helmet for Kids: Joovy Noodle
- 4. Best Multi-Purpose Bike Helmet: Mongoose Street Youth Skull Hardshell
- 5. Best Basic Bike Helmet for Kids: Schwinn Thrasher
- 6. Razor V-17 Multi-Sport
- 7. Best Bike Helmet for Younger Kids: Schwinn Kids Bike Helmet
- 8. Raskulls Mohawk
- 9. Best Premium Bike Helmet for Kids: Bell Sidetrack
- 10. Best Bike Helmet for Young Girls: Bell Multisport
- Everything You Need to Know About Kid’s Bike Helmets
- Final Thoughts
How to Choose the Perfect Bike Helmet for Your Child
We also know that getting your child to wear a helmet can be a challenge, because they don’t want to be seen wearing something uncool. In this list, we’ve included helmets with quirky and creative designs, which your kids will love wearing.
When choosing between the best bike helmets for kids, here are the main things you need to consider:
Build: Is the helmet colorful? Does it have a funky style? We’ve included a wide range of exciting designs for kids, along with helmets with anti-pinch buckles and other great features. In this section, we’ve also considered the materials used to build the helmet, as they have an impact on every other aspect of a helmet.
Comfort: If your child’s helmet isn’t comfortable, they won’t want to wear it. We’ve considered how comfortable, cushioned and lightweight each helmet is.
Safety: It’s essential that your chosen helmet keeps your child safe. That’s why you’re reading this article! From high-tech MIPS systems to protective padding and strong straps, there’s a lot that goes into making a helmet as safe as it can be. Though these added features are nice, every helmet on our list meets all of the major safety standards, so none of them are unsafe.
Durability: You don’t want to keep investing in helmets year after year. So we’ve assessed and analyzed the durability of each entry on our list.
Size: Getting the right fit is essential for safety and comfort. Some helmets are adjustable, making them perfect for getting the right fit, but any well-fitting helmet will adequately protect your child.
Below, we’ve listed ten of the best bike helmets for kids. We’ve evaluated and assessed each in five categories: build, comfort, safety, durability and size. No matter your budget, your child’s age or your child’s sense of style, we’ve got the perfect helmet-shaped solution for you.
Top 10 Best Bike Helmets for Kids 2021
The dial-adjust system on the rear of the helmet is perfect for getting an excellent fit, so you can ensure the helmet is tight and secure without being uncomfortable.Though not built with specific anti-pinching technology, the strap buckle is well-built, so it shouldn’t pinch against your child’s skin.
Adjusting the straps is also super easy and simple, with the use of a small black plug in the back of the helmet. The helmet has a flat back, and even comes with an added vent at the back for poking a ponytail through.
Really the only drawback with the Giro Scamp is its fairly plain aesthetic.
If you want to prioritize comfort, this is one of the best on this list. The fit is great, and it feels super lightweight on the head, so your child will forget that it’s even there.
The in-mold polycarbonate shell makes the helmet breathable and lightweight without sacrificing safety and support. With 8 vents across the top, it’s great for avoiding sweaty heads on long rides.
Giro is known for creating super-safe helmets. The polycarbonate build on this one is rugged and robust, and the excellent fitting system makes the helmet particularly safe.
For those seeking even more security, you can buy a sightly-more expensive version with added MIPS technology. Below, we’ve outlined what MIPS is, and why it offers lots of extra protection. In short, it’s a design inspired by the shape of the human skull, which helps to prevent head injuries no matter the direction and location of the impact.
Excellent durability. This helmet is rugged, robust and built with real quality. If durability is your concern, this is a truly fantastic option.
The sizing is excellent. This one is only available as a small, which fits heads from 49-53cm, but there’s also an extra small version, from 45-49cm.
- Excellent comfort and breathability
- Great support and protection, with a MIPS and non-MIPS options
- Super lightweight, so your kids will love the fit and feel
- Great fit
- Fairly good price point considering the excellent quality
- Good durability
- It doesn’t have the most exciting aesthetic, but that’s about the only real flaw here
The dial adjust system is incredible for getting a perfect fit without any tightness or discomfort. And the dial itself is covered in rubber, so it’s very easy to adjust on the go.
The soft side straps are comfortable against the skin, and don’t even need adjusting, so it’s easy to get this on and get cycling straight away. These straps also look great, with a sleek fit and a sleek design. The chin buckle is easy to use, and the slightly-large built makes it quick to clip and unclip.
If your kid does a lot of cycling in the sun, this is a great pick – the visor is bigger than most other cycling helmet visors, offering plenty of shade.
This is one of the most comfortable helmets on the market. Lots of older kids don’t like to be seen wearing helmets. In their quest to ride bare-headed, they often claim that helmets are uncomfortable. With this one, there can be absolutely no complaints. It’s very lightweight, the whole helmet feels great against the head and it’s extremely breathable.
With a great deal of head coverage, an excellent fit and the inclusion of MIPS technology, helmets don’t get much safer than this.
For such a lightweight helmet, the durability is great. The in-mold technology is built to provide good durability and protection without too much bulk – and it does the job perfectly.
The helmet adjusts between 50 and 57 cm, making it perfect for many kids. The sizing is very adjustable, so you can always get a perfect fit.
- Built with MIPS
- If you want an excellent helmet for older kids, this is it
- Very breathable
- Great for a snug fit without tightness
- Maybe a little expensive for some, but it’s absolutely worth the money
This doesn’t quite have the comfort or high-tech design of the most expensive options on the market, but for its price, it’s built with great structure and safety. The pinch-guard chin strap prevents tears, while the 14 air vents provide great breathability. The adjustable dial on the back of the helmet makes getting a good fit quick and easy. The hard shell doesn’t have the same quality as more expensive in-mold models, but it’s absolutely sturdy, safe and secure.
The helmet is available in many different colors, so it should satisfy the style needs of even the most fashion-conscious of kids.
Very lightweight, very breathable and with a great fit, this is comfortable for all ages.
There’s an extended visor for maximum protection, while the hard shell provides excellent security against impact and injury. This doesn’t have MIPS, but for a basic helmet, this is as safe as you can get—if you want to go above and beyond, you’ll need to look in another price range.
Not as good as some other options, but given its price point, this should provide plenty of protection for many rides to come.
Available in two sizes – XS/S, suitable for heads from 47 to 52 cm, and M/L, for sizes 52 to 56 cm. The sizes run accurate, so you can trust the fit.
- Fantastic price point
- The colorful designs are fun and aesthetic
- Available for heads of all sizes
- Very comfortable
- Doesn’t have MIPS
- Not quite as protective as more expensive options, such as the Giro Scamp
Very tough, very study and very robust, this is the archetypal multi-sport helmet. It doesn’t have the lightweight look or feel of a cycling-only helmet, but it’s very good at what it does, with all-over support and safety.
The outer shell is very tough, more so than the vast majority of bicycle helmets. There’s a 360-internal pad system to keep the helmet comfortable despite the extensive coverage.
The helmet is available in two colors – black and matt black. The tough build is matched by a tough design, with a skull motif. Though it’s marketed as a boy’s helmet, there’s no reason at all why girls might not also like this. That said, if you want something a little more ‘girly’, the Bell Multisport is an excellent option.
Though it looks like it might be a little uncomfortable, it isn’t at all. The internal pads keep the head feeling comfortable, while the big vents provide surprisingly good breathability. It’s a bit heavier and bulkier than most bike helmets for kids, but not to the extent that they’ll hate wearing it.
Safety is where this helmet excels. It’s hard to find a good helmet which is suitable for all wheeled hobbies. But this is a great example of a helmet which is very protective for any and all wheel-based adventures. It doesn’t have any intelligent tricks or technology, but it’s very sturdy and very rugged.
Because of the hard outer shell, this should last a long while. Given the excellent price point, this is a great investment if you want something which will keep your kid protected for many years to come.
Runs in only one size, from 50 to 56 cm.
- If you want a multi-sport helmet, this is it
- Cool aesthetic, which lots of kids will love
- Very breathable, especially for a multi-sport helmet
- Tough, rugged design
- Great price point
- Not as lightweight as some others
- Bulkier than helmets which are built solely for cycling
The adjustable fit dial knob makes for a comfortable and protective fit no matter the size of your kid’s head. There’s full shell coverage for the head, with a three-piece microshell design. Though it’s a more basic, more affordable option, it’s built with EPS, for excellent protection in spite of the lightweight build.
The helmet comes with a removable visor. There are a huge amount of excellent color options and style options. No matter your mini-fashionista’s sense of style, there’ll be something here that they’ll love.
It’s very lightweight, very comfortable against the head, and comes with an impressive 20 air vents for maximum ventilation and breathability.
Overall, the comfort here is great.
For a good basic helmet without MIPS and without the super-sturdy build of a multi-purpose helmet, this is as good as it gets.
The intelligent design offers full range padding around the entire head without a clunky fit.
Not the best on this list, but it’s certainly still pretty good.
This is available in two sizes for kids: 50 to 56 cm for children and 55 to 58 cm for youths. Both of the sizes fit well, and they’re very easy to adjust.
- An excellent basic design
- Lots of colorful and aesthetic designs for kids of all tastes
- Traditional angular design
- Doesn’t have the high-tech safety designs of more expensive models, such as the Giro Tremor MIPS.
- Not the best durability on this list
Built with ergonomic padding, this provides an excellent fit and feel despite the very robust protection. The side release buckles are intelligently designed to prevent pinching, and to make adjustments fast and easy, even on the go. It’s easy for your child to adjust the helmet if they’d like to.
The inside padding is very comfortable, and the 17 vents provide lots of breathability, particularly for a multi-sport helmet. Multi-sport helmets can sometimes be a little heavy, clunky and uncomfortable, but that’s not at all the case here.
Like many multi-purpose helmets, this is strong and sturdy. But it performs even better than most others, with a very hard, very robust surface.
Like most multi-purpose helmets, this provides excellent durability. If you want a helmet which comes with a guarantee of longevity, this is a great choice.
This helmet is offered in one size to fit heads between 55 and 57 cm, but there’s also a version from 56-59.5cm. There’s no adjustable element to these helmets, which isn’t great for getting a perfect bespoke fit, but the comfortable padding inside makes for a good snug fit.
- Great if your child likes to do lots of different sports
- Very sturdy and strong
- Great side buckles
- Not as light as helmets built exclusively for cycling
- No adjustable fit
The standout feature here is of course the quirky, fun designs which your young kids will absolutely love. The styles include a firefighter helmet, a panda bear helmet and a ribboned helmet.
If you’re struggling to get your kid voluntarily wearing a helmet, this will likely be the perfect remedy. But despite the fun build, these helmets are still very safe. The dial fit offers complete adjustability for the perfect combo of security and comfort, while the molded shell has an extra lower section for added safety.
The adjustability offers great comfort, while there’s decent breathability offered through small vents. The breathability isn’t the best, but because this helmet is designed for young kids, they won’t be doing anything intense or strenuous to require more ventilation than this helmet offers. It’s a very comfortable helmet, and very easy to adjust.
Though this might not look like the most safe helmet on the market, don’t let the cute designs fool you. There’s still plenty of protection on offer here. Yes, the added features are flimsy, but the actual helmet isn’t.
The durability here isn’t the best. The build of the helmet is good quality, but the added quirky, cute features don’t have the same robust build of the helmet proper.
Able to fit heads between 48 and 52 cm, the fit is really great thanks to the adjustability inside the helmet.
- Great, fun designs, which young kids will love
- Good price point
- Great adjustability
- Doesn’t have the technological edge that some helmets have
- The durability isn’t great
With a PVC shell and an EPS interior, these are built to provide excellent safety. The standout feature here is the aesthetics of the design. Some kids absolutely love these, with their bendable mohawks and bright, brash designs. And there’s more – some of the helmets have glow in the dark features or LED lights.
Because they’re an all-over helmet, these are suitable for all wheeled sports, including skateboarding, rollerblading and scooting.
They might look radical and edgy, but they’re still super comfortable. There are soft pads inside the shell for a great feel. These helmets aren’t the most breathable, but they still do a pretty good job of keeping the head cool, and the straps are very comfortable against the skin.
Again, these are very safe and secure, perfect for protecting the entire head for any sports. They don’t have a dial to adjust the helmet, so make sure you measure your kid’s head before you buy.
Because of the tough outer core, the durability of the helmet itself is great. The durability of the added aesthetic features is typically pretty good, but some of the added appendages might become damaged over time. The LED lights in particular may not last for too much time.
There are sizes for all age groups, so this is a great pick regardless of your child’s age. As above, make sure you measure before you buy. But when you have measured, you’ll find a great, funky solution. The cushioning inside the helmet makes for a good fit.
- Super funky designs, perfect for kids who like something a little edgy
- Good price point
- Available for lots of ages
- Doesn’t have MIPS or other high-tech features
- The durability isn’t great
Most of the helmets we’ve featured have good adjusters. But this one takes it up a notch – the adjuster in this helmet is attached to a cage which covers the entirety of the helmet’s inside. Adjusting the helmet therefore makes changes to how the helmet fits and feels across the full head, making for a very comfortable, very bespoke fit.
The side straps are built to stay in place and battle twisting. They do both of these things very effectively. The buckle is marketed as pinch-free but it’s a little cumbersome. It takes a little while to get used to, so your child might struggle with it at first.
The mega-adjustable inner cage is excellent for comfort. The in-mold construction has created a helmet which is fairly lightweight but still very protective. There are 15 vents, for excellent breathability, along with a removable visor for shielding against the sun.
It provides good cover for the back of the head, but there’s surprisingly no MIPS here, despite the high price. If you want MIPS, go for the Giro Tremor MIPS.
In spite of the lack of MIPS, this is otherwise a very safe, very protective helmet. The adjustable build of this helmet means that you can get the helmet to offer a perfect fit. And as is always the case with helmets – the better the fit, the safer the ride.
This premium helmet is built to last, so it should last you a long while.
There are two sizes available – 47 to 54cm and 50 to 57cm. But beyond that, the sizing is one of the best features here. We’ve mentioned it over and over again, but the adjustable system is excellent.
- Brilliant fully-adjustable design
- Good coverage for the back of the head
- The fasteners are designed to prevent twisting
- High price point
- No MIPS, despite this price point
- It can take a while to figure out the fastener
With lots of cute pink Minnie Mouse designs – and one featuring Daisy Duck – these helmets are popular with lots of young girls. Some of the helmets have 3D features. The 3D pieces are removable, so you can take them off if they’re too much of a distraction.
Because of the all-over build, these helmets are suitable for skateboarding, rollerblading and all other wheeled activities too. The buckle is easy to use, so it offers easy adjustment, even for young kids. And it’s anti-pinch!
With plenty of ventilation, and a good lightweight build, this is very comfortable. These helmets don’t have the bespoke fitting capabilities of helmets such as the Bell Sidetrack, but they’re still comfortable enough.
With all-over head coverage and an excellent robust outer layer, this is very safe and secure.
The durability of the actual helmet is great, but some of the fashionable fabric add-ons can wear away a little over time. But since the most important thing is safety, this isn’t too much of a problem.
Suitable for kids with a head size of 50 to 54cm. There’s lots of cushioning inside for a nice fit.
- Some kids will absolutely love these designs
- Pretty good price point considering the great designs
- The buckle is very easy to use
- Suitable for other sports, such as skateboarding and rollerblading
- No MIPS
- The fit isn’t bespoke
Everything You Need to Know About Kid’s Bike Helmets
There you have it – the top 10 best bike helmets for kids.
But there are many things to consider before investing in one for your child. In this section of our guide, we’ve unpacked some of the confusion, to clear up everything you need to know before making your purchase.
It’s of course important to buy a helmet which will fit your child perfectly. If it doesn’t properly fit, it’s not fully safe.
To do so, you simply measure the circumference of your child’s head. Measure the thickest part of their head, which should be about an inch above the eyebrows. If you haven’t got a flexible tape measure, simply wrap a piece of string around your child’s head, then measure the string.
You should then use this figure when buying one of the helmets listed above. For each helmet, you’ll find the size on the listing.
Generally speaking, here’s a quick guide to different sizes according to the age of your child:
- Infant helmets are built for children with a head circumference of 44cm to 50cm
- Toddler helmets are built for children with a head circumference of 46cm to 52cm
- Pre-teen helmets are built for children with a head circumference of 48cm to 55cm
- Teen helmets are built for children with a head circumference of 52cm to 58cm
How to Properly Fit a Helmet
When your child puts their helmet on, it’s essential you help them to do it properly. A well-fitted helmet will only sit right if your child wears it right.
Here’s how to properly fit and wear a helmet:
1) Position It Properly
When the helmet is on your child’s head, make sure it doesn’t tilt forward or back. It should sit flat, so that it protects the head fully and properly without obstructing your child’s view. A well-fitted helmet should stick out just beyond the length of your child’s nose.
If you can’t get it straight, try these tips:
- Make sure the helmet has been placed squarely on top of your child’s head. Place it on flat, not at an angle.
- Make sure no ponytails, pigtails or hair clips are obstructing the helmet. These can make the helmet wonky.
2) Make It Snug
Once the helmet is square, you have to make it snug. You do this by adjusting the knob (if there is one!) on the back of the helmet. Make sure you do this before you clip it in place. Adjust this knob to make sure that the helmet is tight without being uncomfortable.
To test that the fit is right, have your child shake and wobble their head while the helmet is unbuckled. If the helmet sticks in place (without being uncomfortable), then it’s perfectly snug.
3) Adjust the Chin Strap
Make sure the chin strap is tight but not uncomfortable. If your child can fit one finger between the strap and their chin (when the strap is fastened), then the fit is right. If the fit isn’t right, make sure you adjust the chin strap.
Features a Good Helmet Should Have
Any good helmet should have certain good features. Without them, the helmet isn’t sufficiently safe. Here are these features:
- Adjustability: there should be a dial at the back of the helmet, so that it can be properly adjusted, both for your child’s head size, and for their future growth. An important note: this isn’t the case for multi-sport helmets. It’s okay to buy a multi-sport helmet without one of these adjusters.
- Strap sliders: helmet chin straps should come just below the child’s ear, and leave just enough room to comfortably place one finger between the chin and the straps. There should be sliders on the helmet to make both of these things possible.
- Good buckles: we’ve all been kids. And as kids, we’ve all been the unwilling recipient of a nasty pinch when rashly buckling a bike helmet. Most bicycle helmets now feature ‘pinch-free’ buckles to avoid any unnecessary post-cycling tears. Some more expensive models feature magnetic buckles.
A helmet might also have a visor. A visor of course helps to keep the sun out of your child’s eyes. But if they’re serious about cycling, you should also invest in good cycling glasses for your bike-mad kid. These are a good choice for anyone wondering, any serious cyclist should invest in good cycling glasses.
You should note that the sun protection offered by a helmet sun visor is, though helpful, rather limited. So ensure that you don’t use a visor as a replacement for sunscreen!
A lightweight helmet is important at any age. But adults have better, stronger, more developed neck muscles. For children, a lightweight helmet is particularly important.
Of course, you don’t want to sacrifice safety in order to get a lightweight helmet, but assuming a helmet is safe, secure and trustworthy, lighter is better for kids’ helmets. A light helmet is easier to use and more comfortable.And because it’s less intrusive and uncomfortable, your child will be more willing to wear it for a longer period of time.
All of the models we’ve included are great lightweight options, but we’ve highlighted the particularly light ones. The Giro Scamp is a particularly good example of a safe but lightweight helmet.
In-Mold vs. Hardshell
There are two main types of helmet – in-mold and hardshell.
With an in-mold helmet, the inner foam and the outer plastic shell are fused together. This allows for a more lightweight build and for better ventilation.
With a hardshell helmet, there is a thicker plastic shell, which is glued to the foam of a helmet. These are typically a little heavier, but they provide better durability.
For cycling, in-mold helmets are a little more popular and a little more common. But multipurpose helmets are typically all hardshell.
A quick note on full-face helmets: unless your child is downhill mountain biking or an enduro rider, they absolutely don’t need a full face helmet. If they are a mountain bike rider, this helmet is a great choice.
Multi-Directional Impact Protection System
Many more expensive helmets feature a design known as MIPS (or to give its more memorable name, Multi-directional Impact Protection System).
This system helps to protect the head no matter which direction the impact comes from. Lesser helmets offer most of the protection in the more central parts of the helmet.
This system works with the help of a very simple – but very effective and innovative – inner cage. The intelligent design is based upon the way in which the skull naturally protects your brain. If it’s good enough for your skull, it’s good enough for a helmet.
For a better guarantee of all-over head protection, choose one of the MIPS helmets we’ve included in our list, like the Giro Scamp
Many helmets are built with EPS (expanded polystyrene). High-quality EPS is lightweight, durable and protective, making it a very popular addition to modern helmets.
If you want a helmet which will keep you protected, but also offer a lightweight fit, go for one built with EPS. The Schwinn Thrasher is a great basic choice here.
It’s essential to wear a certified helmet. You must check that any cycling helmet you buy has been certified by the CPSC. All helmets we’ve included are fully certified. If you buy a helmet that isn’t certified, it also isn’t safe.
Helmets for skateboarding are judged by a different criteria. If a skateboarding helmet is safe to use, it’s ASTM F1492-certified. If a helmet is multi-purpose, you need to check that it is dual-certified by both criteria. All multi-purpose helmets we’ve included in this list are fully certified.
It’s important to have a breathable helmet. If a helmet isn’t breathable, it can make for a sweaty and uncomfortable ride. And if your child’s head is sweaty and uncomfortable, they’re going to put up a fight when it comes to putting on their helmet.
Save yourself the fuss of arguments by buying a well-ventilated helmet.
The further and faster you ride, the more important this becomes. If you child is simply learning to ride a bike, ventilation isn’t particularly important. But if you regularly tackle lengthy rides, it’s absolutely essential.
How Long Should My Helmet Last?
If your helmet is reliable, fits well, and hasn’t been part of any accidents, you can wait 5-10 years until you change it. But you should check it often for any damages or faults. If there are any damages or faults, buy a new one.
If your helmet has been involved in an accident, you should replace it immediately. A helmet that has been part of an accident is no longer safe.
Cycling is a fun, healthy activity, and lots of kids love it. But it’s only as safe as the equipment used to do it. Your child should never cycle without wearing a good, safe, certified helmet.
In this list, we’ve included ten of the best. They’re all comfortable, reliable and safe. And because we’ve included lots of cool and quirky designs, your kids won’t put up a fight when being forced to wear them.
For better cycling, less worry, and much less chance of any injuries or harm, we’ve got you covered. Choose one from this list, and your kid can saddle up safely!